Ms. Gita Honwana Welch completed her assignment as the acting UNDP Ghana Resident Representative on 19th April 2019. Pending the appointment of a substantive Resident Representative, Ms. Rokya Ye Dieng, Deputy Resident Representative in-charge of Operations will be the Officer in Charge of UNDP Ghana.
Ms. Welch served the country office as a Resident Representative ad interim (RR a.i) from December 2018 - April 2019, and also as an acting UNDP Country Director (CD), from January to November 2018.
At a farewell meeting with staff, she expressed her appreciation to the Government of Ghana and the entire staff for their unflinching support throughout her term of service. She indicated that during her farewell meetings with various Ministers, the Government recognized and acknowledged UNDP’s development interventions and is very complimentary of its work. She added that the Senior Minister, Honorable Yaw Osafo-Maafo and all the key Ministers visited (Foreign Affairs, Planning and Finance) affirmed their continued support to the country office. This, she believes will unleash bigger opportunities for UNDP, especially to effectively deliver on its integrator and facilitating role on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Working with you has been great, and I am very proud of the team. But my advice to you all is that, in all your endeavors, never lose your sense of humanity, no matter how tough the going gets”, Ms. Welch counsel to staff.
As an acting UNDP RR, Ms. Welch played a tremendous role in the smooth and successful running and repositioning of the organization at the country level. She led UNDP Ghana through a smooth transition of delinking the UN Resident Coordinator’s function from the UNDP Resident Representative role, per the new United Nations reform effective January 2019.
Staff of the country office were full of praise for the selfless service and astute leadership of Ms. Welch. They recounted her tireless effort in fostering staff cohesion and maintaining a productive working environment for effective delivery during her tenure, describing her as a Great Inspiration, Transformation to Agile (GITA).
“Your all-inclusive management style, great leadership and personal relationship with us is commendable. You are leaving UNDP Ghana, a much more fit for purpose country office. We will miss you dearly”, stated Ms. Ye Dieng, on behalf of staff.
Ms. Welch has spent more than 17 years working for the United Nations, serving as the Director of the UNDP Regional Service Center for West and Central Africa, based in Dakar (2011-2013), the UNDP Country Director in Angola (2006-2010), the Head of the Democratic Governance Group at UNDP Headquarters in New York (2001-2006), the Minister of Justice of East Timor as part of the UN Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET): 2000-2001. Gita Welch started her career with the United Nations as the Regional Representative of UNIFEM (UN Fund for Women) for Southern Africa (1995-2000). Before joining the UN, she was a High Court Judge in her country, Mozambique. After retiring from the UN in 2013, she continued to serve the organization on temporary assignments, as CD or RR a.i in various countries, including Ghana. She goes back to Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs based in London, where she is currently serving as an Associate Fellow of the Africa Programme.
The Deputy Resident Representative (Operations), Ms. Rokya Ye Dieng, who is currently the Officer-in-Charge, previously served as the Deputy Country Director for Operations (DCO) of UNDP Liberia, Madagascar, and Chad. Prior to that, she was an Assistant Resident Representative for Operations in Congo Brazzaville and Project Operations Manager in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She started her career with UNDP in 1999 in Cote d’Ivoire, providing finance and programme management support. Before joining UNDP, she worked as Portfolio Manager in an audit firm. Rokya has an MBA degree from Centre Africain d’Etudes Supérieures en Gestion - Dakar, Sénégal (1998), and also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Law from National University of Côte d’Ivoire (1995).